Apple Quietly Made a Big Change to AppleCare and It’s Very Good News For iPhone 12 Owners

If you’re an iPhone user, Apple just gave you some very good news. Well, that is if you signed up for AppleCare+. By the way, I don’t buy extended warranties on anything, but I buy AppleCare. I don’t have time in this column to get into all of the reasons why, but this one should be more than enough.

See, if you pay for AppleCare+, you get accidental damage coverage on your device. That means that if you drop your iPhone as you’re getting out of the car, and the screen shatters, instead of paying the full cost of a replacement (which can get very expensive), you pay $29.00.

In September, just before the launch of the iPhone 12, Apple quietly made a change. Normally that would be bad news. Normally, when companies change the terms and conditions of a warranty, it almost never comes out in the favor of

Read More

In China, Big Tech Isn’t the Enemy. It’s the Strategy

Just as the U.S. government starts looking to rein in, or even break up, big technology companies in the belief they have too much power, China is going in the opposite direction. We should expect to see more money, more policy favoritism, and more attention from party cadres aimed at ensuring the establishment of big successful chip and software firms.

The Fifth Plenum of the Chinese Communist Party’s 19th Central Committee wrapped up Thursday by tasking the nation to, among other things, develop self-reliance and build its technological power.The result will be a more insular approach to industry and trade as Beijing strengthens a robust domestic market for those up-and-coming heroes to ply their wares.

Foreign companies — notably in semiconductors, software or materials — that still believe China is a viable long-term business are kidding themselves. Only those supplying crucial products and services not available locally will have any

Read More

Amazon’s Stock May Drop Further Despite Big Earnings Beat

Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN)  reported blow-out third quarter results on October 29, easily beating analysts’ expectations. But it may be a disappointment on Amazon’s Web Services business that turned the stock lower by almost 2% in the after-hours session.

The equity has had a tremendous move in 2020. However, the stock isn’t cheap, with the shares trading at its highest valuation in years. The technical chart wasn’t in great shape heading into results either.

AWS

According to data from Refinitiv, analysts were looking for third quarter AWS revenue in a range of $11.2 billion to $11.9 billion,

Read More

Big Tech Delivers Strong Profits Amid Pandemic, Political Scutiny

Big Tech powerhouses Thursday delivered robust earnings reports for the latest quarter, leveraging the needs of pandemic-hit consumers amid heightened scrutiny of their economic power.

Profits were up for Facebook, Amazon and Google-parent Alphabet, while Apple saw a modest dip in earnings on weakness in iPhone sales.

The results — showing a combined profit of $38 billion for the four companies — highlighted the massive economic power of the tech firms which have been able to ride out the global coronavirus pandemic better than most businesses.

But critics say they are too big and too powerful.

Big tech powerhouses delivered robust earnings for the past quarter amid heightened scrutiny of the mega-firms Big tech powerhouses delivered robust earnings for the past quarter amid heightened scrutiny of the mega-firms Photo: AFP / DENIS CHARLET

US authorities have filed an antitrust complaint against Google and are reportedly considering action against Facebook.

Meanwhile, lawmakers have sharpened attacks on social media firms for how they handle political content and “hate

Read More

Huawei Mate 40 Pro’s beautiful design doesn’t make up for its big software problem

huawei-mate-40-pro-product-hoyle

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The Mate 40 Pro is Huawei’s latest superphone, which the company hopes will go up against the iPhone 12 Pro ($999 at Amazon) and Samsung’s Galaxy S20 and Note series. Wrapped up in an attractive body, it’s packed with the latest top tech and 5G. But while it’s got solid specs on paper, it suffers from one major problem.

Due to the ongoing restrictions imposed by the US government, Huawei’s phones can’t use any Google services, including Gmail, Maps and Chrome and, most importantly of all, the Google Play store. While Huawei has its own app store (which I’ll come to later) it’s nowhere close to rivalling Google’s and it makes this phone difficult to recommend over any of its rivals. 


Now playing:
Watch this:

Huawei announces it’s Mate 40 series



9:59

Read More

Bitcoin Still Needs To Pass These Two Big Tests

Bitcoin’s recent breakout could be one of the most important moves in its history. Not only is it happening at a seemingly crucial juncture for the economy, but it’s doing so as important relationships in the market are being tested and possibly preparing for a new regime.

Bitcoin and the Nasdaq have traded in lockstep for almost all of 2020, but over the past ten days they’ve traded at the lowest correlation in more than a year. Part of the excitement has surely stemmed from PayPal’s adoption of Bitcoin into its ecosystem, but you can’t ignore the timing of Bitcoin’s rally within the broader macro context.

As Bitcoin is detaching itself from stocks, its inverse relationship with the U.S. dollar the past six months remains strong. With expectations of big fiscal stimulus being an eventuality no matter who wins in November, Bitcoin bugs are giddy at the

Read More

Section 230: Senators grandstand during hearing with Big Tech bosses

What happened: Less than a week before the US presidential elections, the CEOs of Facebook, Google, and Twitter appeared before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.The four-hour hearing was meant to focus on Section 230, the regulation that has shielded internet companies from liability for user content. Most questions, however, had little to do with Section 230, instead following partisan scripts.

Republican senators charged that conservative content was being censored but provided examples of content that was fact-checked, found to be false or misleading, and labeled as such, while Democratic counterparts questioned what the platforms were doing to fight disinformation and voter suppression. Both sides asked numerous questions about posts that they personally disliked. President Trump was not at the hearing but tweeted a call for a repeal of Section 230 while it was in progress. 

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey suggested that current regulations work, but that tech

Read More

Top EU Antitrust Investigator Warns Against Break Up of Big Tech Companies

As the European Union increasingly targets big tech companies, top antitrust enforcer Margrethe Vestager has warned against the structural break up of big tech companies (via The Information).

The comments were somewhat surprising, as Vestager has aggressively pursued antitrust investigations against the likes of Apple, Google, and Amazon in recent years. For example, it was Vestager who led the EU’s appeal against a court ruling that overturned its demand that Apple pay 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) in tax to the Irish government.

During a debate on the future of internet regulation within the EU, she cautioned that although it would be “doable” to force a breakup of big tech companies under current EU law, it could lead to a range of unintended consequences. Foremost among these, she said, are potentially lengthy court battles between European regulators and the tech companies themselves.

“I don’t think it is something that

Read More

Airbnb Chooses IPO Venue in Big Win for Nasdaq Over NYSE

(Bloomberg) — Airbnb Inc. has chosen to list its shares on the Nasdaq Global Select Market, its biggest initial public offering since Facebook Inc. in 2012.



graphical user interface


© Bloomberg


The home-rental company didn’t disclose any further details of its listing plans in a statement Tuesday.

Loading...

Load Error

Nasdaq has a reputation for technology-focused stocks such as software and biotechnology, including high-profile IPOs such as those for Lyft Inc. and Zoom Video Communications Inc. Yet, since the fallout surrounding Facebook’s difficult debut, it has frequently lost the competition for mega IPOs to the New York Stock Exchange, including Uber’s $8.1 billion listing last year and Snowflake Inc.’s $3.86 billion offering.

A representative for Airbnb declined to comment beyond the statement.

Airbnb said in August that it had filed confidentially with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an IPO. The company will seek to raise as much as $3 billion in an

Read More

Report: Databricks is plotting the next big software IPO

Big data analytics and machine learning company Databricks Inc. is planning to make its stock market debut in the first half of next year, according to a report late Friday in Bloomberg.

Unnamed sources with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg that Databricks has already held talks with banks over an initial public offering, though it has not yet hired any underwriters. The report adds that Databricks’ plans could still change.

Led by co-founder and Chief Executive Ali Ghodsi (pictured), Databricks is best known for its Unified Data Analytics Platform that’s based on the open-source Apache Spark big-data framework. Companies use Databricks’ software to build information pipelines across siloed storage systems, analyze that data and then prepare labeled data sets that can be used to train artificial intelligence and machine learning models.

In addition, Databricks’ software comes with collaborative features that help to foster better communication between data scientists and

Read More